Linking Prevention, Detection, and Whistle-Blowing: Principles for Designing Effective Reporting Systems

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on June 20, 2013

Lobel, Orly, Linking Prevention, Detection, and Whistle-Blowing: Principles for Designing Effective Reporting Systems (June 2013). Symposium On Whistle-Blowing and the Regulation of Workplace Reporting, 54 S. Tex. L. Rev. 37 (2013); San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 13-123. Available at SSRN.

“This invited essay for a symposium dedicated to whistle-blowing research offers an overview of recent experimental and empirical research on social reporting and whistle-blowing behavior. Whistle-blowing laws serve a dual purpose. They serve both to instill ethical norms of behavior to prevent misconduct from occurring and to detect ongoing organizational corruption. The design of sound processes for reporting wrongdoing signals the significance that the organization and society attribute to compliance and ethical conduct. At the same time, whistle-blowing laws directly add to the texture of incentives and motivations of individuals in their decision about whether to blow the whistle. In recent years, there is a growing number of empirical and experimental research about ethical behavior and social enforcement. This article aims to illuminate what we know about the design of whistle-blowing protections, individual incentives, and effective reporting channels; and to suggest ways in which policy can benefit from the increasing depth in the social science research.”

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